3 Little Things That Protect Your Brand

I’ve traveled to many gyms in my time with CrossFit, over 100 by now. Each gym has its own vibe, style, and protocols and that’s part of what makes it so fun to visit different locations. Over the years I’ve run into a few scenarios and at multiple gyms where I think gyms could do better.

The three points below are simple and straightforward, but each improves the overall experience of the client over many years. They’re also not specific to CrossFit or owning a boutique fitness studio - they’re present in running any service business. All three are good examples of how sometimies it's not about what you do, but what you don't do.

Keep your business strifes such as overhead, costs, and rent to yourself.

While visiting a gym with a friend I enquired about the drop-in fee. Rather than tell me the cost to work out the gentlemen at the front desk went on a long-winded rant about not letting people workout for free and cited the monthly cost of their rent. To be clear, I did not inquire about working out for free, I just wanted to know the cost to drop-in, but the discussion made me feel uneasy and somewhat unwelcome.

Who knows what he had been through that week - maybe the gym was struggling or perhaps the rent had recently increased, and it was keeping him up at night, but this isn’t the client’s problem or something that should be included in their experience.

As an affiliate owner, it takes practice and maturity to balance what you project on the gym floor with all of the behind the scenes ups and downs of the business. But we have to. The professionalism of our product and company depends on it.

As an affiliate owner, it takes practice and maturity to balance what you project on the gym floor with all of the behind the scenes ups and downs of the business. But we have to. The professionalism of our product and company depends on it.

Talk to your staff about this topic. Help them to understand why when a person inquires about the cost of membership and they respond with how the business isn’t doing well, and that they need to make a hefty rent to cover the space, this does not help sell memberships!

Don’t eat on the gym floor while coaching.

I’ve seen this one more than I wish. Ok just follow along with me for a second on this one. Imagine you go to a restaurant, and while the waiter is telling you the specials for the day, he’s taking bites of food in between your questions. This would never be ok! The same applies to our work on the gym floor.

I’ve heard it all - I teach 5 hours back to back, I just worked out, my blood sugar is low, I’m on a nutrition program and have to eat at this time. Unfortunately, those are excuses, and with a little work and preparation, natural solutions can eliminate this problem.

Coaches can plan to end their class 2 minutes early to give them time to pop in the office and grab a Fuel for Fire. They can prepare a protein shake and sip it on the gym floor. Or they can plan their workout such that they finish with 10 minutes to spare to get in a bite of food.

Don’t Overpromise.

Every business owner is flooded with ideas and suggestions from members. It’s a beautiful thing and some of our best improvements at Roots over the years have come from member suggestions.

It’s essential to know how to handle suggestions, so you don’t create a record of not delivering. Over time, too many unfulfilled promises can make members frustrated and down on the business that they love.

If you tell your members you’ll get new paper towels, start a newsletter, have a fall event, reorganize a section of the gym, and post the workout every night at a specific time (oh, wait, SugarWOD made that one automatic!;) and then don’t follow through on it, it adds up.

Be calculated in your response when talking to members. Be ok with telling them no if it’s something that you just don’t plan to offer or is outside of your scope at the moment. Be ok with telling them you’ll look into it but then be sure to follow up and give them an answer whether or not you decide to use their idea.

What other best business practices, not specific to a gym, do you think are worth mentioning? Post to comments.

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